Hens stopped laying because of broody. Please help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Zaxby's2, May 4, 2011.

  1. Zaxby's2

    Zaxby's2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    a place
    Ok, so we just had a hen go broody, but it's caused problems. Our hen went broody in the most popular nest, and so for a few days our other hens stopped laying. One hen managed to sneak in an egg while the broody was taking a break, but that's it. We moved the broody to a separate location a couple days ago, but still no eggs, even with her gone! [​IMG] So now what? Could the other hens be missing her? Are the other hens just lazy? Is there anything I can do? Please help!
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    116
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I'd start looking elsewhere for your missing eggs. The other hens probably found an out of the way spot since their favorite box was occupied.
     
  3. zippitydooda

    zippitydooda Chillin' With My Peeps

    398
    0
    121
    Apr 23, 2010
    Ottawa, Ohio
    I'm experiencing the same thing. Out of 15 hens, 6 are laying and one is broody. Up until miss broodybutt started hogging the popular nest box, they were laying around 10-12 eggs a day. Feed and water haven't changed, lighting and coop are the same. Free offering of oyster shell. Coop is clean and dry. They only have a run and the coop, so there is no place to hide their eggs (unless the little stinkers are eating them). I haven't caught any egg eaters (YET), and there is no evidence of such. What does everyone think is going on?

    [​IMG]
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    116
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:How old are these chickens?
     
  5. BANTAMWYANDOTTE

    BANTAMWYANDOTTE Chillin' With My Peeps

    530
    10
    121
    Mar 2, 2011
    Kentucky
    I have also had experiance here. I found that the best thing to do is follow the best chicken adivce I have ever been given:
    My Vet said *about hens not laying* "Always remember, the only hen that will lay an egg is a happy one. If a hen feels safe, secure and cared for (and is healthy) she will lay. If she stops, she is telling you that something is wrong."

    I am going to offer an opinion of what I think happened in my broody case and also go as far to say it is the same thing happening to you. When my hens heard me move the broody hen and all her eggs, they felt threatened and thus decided the remaining nest were in an unsafe spot to raise young, so they stopped laying.

    There is simple way to correct this problem that worked for me:
    I am in a very country type area so allowing my girls to roam free is not really a problem. If your girls are roaming free lock them up because they will find a new place to lay. I moved ALL the remaining hens to another coop and let them adjust slowly. I did this to show them a new/safe environment. Hens will not lay eggs in a place they see as a potential hazard to there young. They are not just egg making machines, they are mothers, as you well know. After about four weeks in the new coop all the hens were laying somewhat regularly. It is very important not to seperate the remaining hens because this can re-enforce the idea of a "threat". The last thing you want is a flock of egg-layers that view you as a threat.

    After the egg-production comes back, you can let the hens free to roam during the day. Leave the coop door open so they can come and go as they please. IF the hens lay inside the coop they find it suitable and will continue to lay for you. When the broody hen returns they should handle it ok. I have heard of a repeat of the incident when the broody returns. (I hope you are luckier than that)

    The best thing to do for them is be patient. Moving to a new coop with new nests is a big upset to them. Contary to what alot of chicken owners think, they weren't made for coop living. During this re-adjustment period feed the hens a ration of Layer's Pellets (between 16 and 18 % protien works best) And keep Oyster Shells avaliable until they are all laying agian. A big reason some hens eat their eggs is because they feel threatened. SO a few wooden or ceramic eggs in the nest boxes would proably be a good idea. Also, remember the only hen that will lay is a happy one....give them treats every day even if it is potatoe peelings or table scraps, This will help fill some of the nutritional gapes left by Layers Pellets.


    I can not say 100 % that this will work for you and your chickens. My hens were two year old Red Sex-Link and Black Jersey Giants. All hens are different and some take longer to adjust. Be patient and allow the slower one time to adjust before letting them forage during the day. The main thing to do right now is lock them up in a new coop together and wait for mother nature to take over. All of them will lay agian because anyone who asks for help cares about the subject at hand. I have faith that your obvious love for them will over-come this.


    Best Of Luck My Friend!

    Timothy in KY
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by